Unknown to Known _ Interview with Casual Violence
CV has cut out an inspirational and intelligent musical space that lies somewhere between brutal and beautiful. People like this create the bar.
We jumped at the chance to have a chat with Casual Violence as the quality of the music that he’s released on labels such as Maieutics, TrusT, Singularity, Aftertaste, Subsist, Rodz Konez and Sect is phenomenal. We catch up to discuss his early background, musical influences and philosophy, Manchester, his relationship with Techno and of course, the album that he is currently working on.
Rachael: Heya Steve. Thanks a million for taking the time to do this interview.. So lets start with the first question.. What is your first musical memory?
Steve: Hey Rachael, ah sure, thanks for taking the interest!
That’s a fairly difficult question. My much loved (older) sister used to watch a children’s TV show called Bagpuss when I was very young. There’s something about the opening music to that which resonates with me in a certain way, with its melancholic little plink plonk (technical term) harpsichord and the gentle monologue easing you into the show. It’s all very gentle and uncomplicated. Not the coolest of answers I’m sure, but there you go.
I also have early memories of Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds. I still have my Parents original vinyl copy up on the shelves here. It has a really cool little paper note from the record store inside the sleeve that’s dated the day after my first birthday. The note gives the stores apologies for the original record my father ordered being out of stock, and has written on it, “We trust that this is a suitable replacement”. I’m not saying that I remember hearing the record from being as young as one, but I sure heard it enough times in my early childhood for it to make an everlasting impression in some way. It’s worth pointing out that the sleeve and artwork are pretty awesome too. The fact that the sleeve is still in such good condition leads me to think that my Dad didn’t allow my eager paws to explore it as much as I would of liked.
I do have this unexplainable childhood attachment to Golden Brown by The Stranglers; that’s always been with me for some reason. Whenever I hear it playing it just does something warm to me if you know what I mean. It’s not my first musical memory for certain, but it’s a very early musical imprint within me that never fails to shake my core a little.
As for the music that has influenced my approach to production, It’s not just music, it would be pretty much all the music, sound, ideas, Information and experiences throughout my entire life that have all in some way managed to soak in and evoke something within. It’s more so the aesthetic and feeling of certain music or sound that will influence me. I take in information from every possible medium, source and emotion; it’s all viable and inspiring in its own way. Things just sink in and then it all comes out as music. It’s too much of an abstract concept for me to put into tangible word. I’m just not as poetic as is needed to do that successfully.
That’s sounds like an amazing memory to cherish Steve! That note from the record shop was a really nice touch! I have a bit of a soft spot for that Golden track also, it must be said! You must have a very extensive vinyl collection I would imagine? It comes across that you find producing music to be highly cathartic!?
I have a pretty decent record collection, yeah. I have all my parents and sisters old records, plus as a record collector, friends and family (and friends of friends and family) tend to think of you first when they are getting rid of them. I’ve ended up with quite a large non electronic selection that’s nice to delve into every now and then. Some of it’s pretty bad, but my parents had good taste, so It’s balanced between great and shit.
Yes, most definitely. I think it’s fair to say that art as a whole is a cathartic experience to both listener and artist alike. It’s the primary reason that I do write, and I feel so very fortunate to have such an amazing outlet to express, communicate and purge my thoughts, ideas and emotions. For me there is nothing quite as cleansing as that process. It’s a coping mechanism, borne out of need rather than desire, and I think perhaps that most people can perceive and identify with music made in this way when compared with music that may have been constructed for other means. Music made under these cathartic conditions simply has its own distinctive way of connecting that is almost impossible to articulate; It just has that something extra.
In contrast, I find listening to music to be an altogether different experience than writing. More often than not I find that listening to music (other than my own) becomes an exercise in observation, almost to the point of distraction. I can’t help but deconstruct other peoples music in my head in an attempt to work out how it was created and what techniques were used, from both engineering and compositional standpoints. Music is at its very best when you can disconnect and just let it wash over and through you, it can ever so slightly lose its magic once there is an almost constant need to examine it, which is a shame.